“William McKinley and His America” by H. Wayne Morgan was published in 1963. Morgan was a noted historian of the Gilded Age, an author and a history professor for nearly three decades at the University of Oklahoma. Morgan died in 2014 at the age of 79.
The underlying theme of Morgan’s biography is that McKinley was a strong but compassionate transitional figure, pivoting the presidency from the Gilded Age to the modern era of politics. And while admitting that McKinley was not a “great” president, Morgan seems to suggest he fell not far from that category.
Despite the book’s title it is far more a biography of McKinley than a history of his times (or “His America”). This stands in contrast to Margaret Leech’s earlier biography of McKinley which is at least as much the latter as the former. But historical context is never in short supply and the…
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